The logistics group Amazon has admitted that employees urinate in bottles – because there is not enough time or there are no toilets on delivery trips. He has now apologized for a tweet in which the group has denied it.
“That was an own goal, we are dissatisfied with it, and we owe MP Pocan an apology.” With these words begins the apology that the logistics company Amazon addressed to Democratic MP Mark Pocan on Friday.
It’s about a tweet the company posted on March 25th: “You don’t really believe this pee-in-the-bottle thing, do you?” Amazon responded to a tweet from Pocan, who directed the Amazon manager Dave Clark wrote: “Paying $ 15 an hour doesn’t make you a progressive job if you fight unions and let your employees pee in water bottles.”
There had been violent reactions online to this tweet from Amazon. Because there is actually evidence that Amazon employees, especially suppliers, but also employees in the logistics centers have too little time to go to the toilet and therefore pee in bottles. A journalist from “Buzzfeed” posted service instructions online after the tweet: Drivers of a delivery company that works for Amazon were called on not to leave “urine bottles” in their delivery vehicles after the shift. And the portal “The Intercept” published internal documents of an Amazon manager who writes that bags with “human feces” are not tolerated in the delivery centers.
The logistics group is now rowing back in the statement: “Firstly, the tweet was wrong.” The many drivers were disregarded and instead falsely focused on the employees in the logistics centers. “Second, our process was flawed.” The tweet had not been adequately checked.
“Thirdly, we know that drivers can have problems finding a toilet.” That could be due to traffic or routes in remote regions and is especially the case in the pandemic. This is an industry-wide problem that they are trying to solve. Under the apology, Amazon then lists a number of articles that report on drivers for the taxi service Uber or the logistics giants UPS or DPD who also urinate in bottles.
The company has had some public disputes with politicians in the past few days. According to reports, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos personally ensured the company defended itself more strongly.
Amazon could get its first union soon. In a logistics center in Bessemer, Alabama, 6,000 employees had the opportunity to vote on employee representatives until last Monday. The count is in progress.